The appeals court has denied bail to Rong Chhun, the president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association (CITA), who has been imprisoned by the Cambodian authorities since his arrest on 15 October.
The judge at the hearing claimed that freeing Chhun could jeopardise the investigation. Chhun was charged with defamation after he expressed personal views on the state of the Cambodia-Vietnam Border issue. Te Chamnan, Chhung’s lawyer, described the decision to deny bail as unjust and plans to appeal the ruling to the supreme court: “By law, Rong Chhung could be allowed bail because his 82-year-old Mother is ailing and his brother has firmly guaranteed to the court that he will not run away”. As he was escorted from the courtroom by police, Rong Chhun shouted to reporters “This decision of the Appeals Court is very unjust to me. [The Constitution] guarantees freedom of expression.”